Blue Star Foods finalizes acquisition of Taste of BC Aquafarms, Inc

Blue Star Foods logo

Blue Star Foods Corp. announced it has completed the acquisition of Taste of BC Aquafarms, a family-owned and operated recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) salmon farming operation in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

The acquisition was performed through a combination of cash, equity, and an assumption of debt, according to a release from Blue Star. Taste of BC Aquafarms was incorporated in 2010, and the company operates the oldest continuously operating RAS facility in North America.

“We believe that RAS is the future of our industry and win-win for all the stakeholders involved in a seafood supply chain that is sustainable over the long-term,” Blue Star Foods CEO John Keeler said. “We are excited to complete the acquisition of Taste of BC Aquafarms and to partner with the Atkinson family, who are pioneers in RAS farming for over a decade. They’ve built a proven and scalable model and we are excited to strategically fund their next level of growth and use our sales platform to market their delicious, sashimi-grade, steelhead salmon.”

The company first indicated it was pursuing an acquisition of Taste of Aquafarms in January, when the company inked a term-sheet to acquire the company.

“The Atkinson family is delighted to be joining forces with Blue Star through this acquisition. Almost 10 years ago, I set out to create a salmon RAS model that could be replicated in multiple locations with predicable and dependable results,” Taste of BC Aquafarms President and Co-Founder Steve Atkinson said. “Our staff, family, and various partners have helped us achieve that original goal, and now Blue Star will help us implement the large scale roll-out.”

According to an 8-K filing by the company to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Blue Star planned to acquire all shares possessed by Taste of BC’s owners – Steve and Janet Atkinson – for a purchase price of CAD 4 million (USD 3.2 million, EUR 2.7 million).

Keeler said the acquisition will help the company reach its internal production goals.

“We have as an internal company goal to be producing 21,000 metric tons of product by 2028,” Keeler said. “One of the things you are going to be hearing from us in the future, is that Taste of BC is producing more RAS steelhead salmon that is being consumed in the marketplace than many of our publicly traded peers. We believe that when properly resourced, we are more likely to hit our production goals than other folks.”

Blue Star first announced that is seeking both acquisitions and investors in 2019, and soon after the company acquired Coastal Pride Company, a crab meat importer. Recently, the company submitted an application to list on NASDAQ, where its 10-K filings with the U.S. SEC indicated the company saw significant decreases in revenue.  


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